Today, I am going to talk about my home city, Popayán. I will show you our culture,typical food and our main traditions.
Popayán is a small city in the south of Colombia. It is one of the oldest cities in Latin America as well with almost 500 years since it was founded. We have a religious and traditional culture inherited from Spain, but also a mix of them between black and native people. This city has been my home my whole life and I am so glad for that.
The Pubenza Carnival began as a celebration of the multiculturalism of my city. It starts in the first week of January. We have parades, cultural shows, singers,dj’s and some parks to play with Carioca,talcos,and colors. At night we have clubs, shows and many places to drink.
My name is Nico and today I want to write about my top 4 songs and why they are worthy to be on your playlist.
My favorite one of them all is “Rewrite The Stars” by Zac Efron and Zendaya. With it’s catchy track and emotions, it is a perfect song for a lonely night when you’re thinking about your crush or boyfriend/girlfriend. It is perfect for duets and you can put your full mood into it.
My second choice is “All I want” by Lauren Spencer-Smith. Lauren put all her emotions into this song and you can really hear it. Just a perfect song if you are in the: I hate my ex, but I miss him/her mood, as well as for an emotional solo performance in your room or even at the talent show of your school.
Mt third place is “Pancakes for Dinner” by Lizzy McAlpine. I love the acoustics in the background and the words that she used to write the song. Here as well, written and sung with emotion. The voice just fits the song perfectly. Perfect to sing in a sad phase of the day/week. I can identify myself with this song, because I flew to the United States and who knows, maybe I will sing this song to somebody after my journey.
My fourth place is “What Christmas Means” by Paige Gold. This is my absolutely favorite Christmas song. With it’s almost normal track, you could listen to it the whole season. It’s a song that won’t get out of your head as you listen to it even once.
Since I started to travel with my family and even alone visiting different countries, I had never felt that freedom to do whatever I wanted to without asking my parents or my guardian at that moment. Then I found EF last year ( 2019), and I planned my trip to go to Malta with them to study English. I chose Malta because it was the cheapest course they offered me at that moment. Even though I didn’t know anything about Malta ( like the location, culture, weather, even the main language where they also speak English), I decided to travel there.
When I arrived in Malta, I was so nervous because my English at that moment wasn’t good. The first person I met there was my host mom when I showed up at her house ,which was 20 minutes walking towards the school, then my roommate that night. The class schedule for each week , EF had prepared a welcome party on Mondays, a midweek party on Wednesdays and another on Fridays. Thanks to them I met lovely new people easily and make new friends.
Malta is an archipelago located in the central Mediterranean below Italy. It’s famous for its diving, architectural sites, and festivals. Malta is also a popular film location. Some films like Gladiator, Troy, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Game of Thrones have scenes filmed on their landscapes. I could visit some of the most famous places.
Valleta is the capital of Malta
Malta has been the most awesome experience in my life for the moment. I got to know new different cultures, meet lovely people who are still my friends, and I created unforgettable memories that will last forever.
I think everyone wants to travel in the universe because the Universe includes many secrets. Humans have always wonder about it. Many people study the universe. They and I believe the Science will prove it. We have always wanted space travel and Intellectuals are trying to find a second earth. Many things are only in our imagination.
We have always relied only on government agencies, but now it is different. Recently Space X successfully launched a manned spacecraft. It’s a sensation because it is the first time that an enterprise has succeeded. That’s a remarkable development.
My favorite celebration in Switzerland is the Benichon because my parents invite their friends our home and we eat together. It’s very a fun day for me. We celebrate it in Fribourg on the 2nd weekend in October. We are celebrating the feast of the harvest and the descent of the herds of the cows.
For this party, some people wear the traditional costumes. The girls wear the “Dzaquillon” and the boys wear the “Bredzon”.
We have a special meal for this celebration – Benichon Menu.
We start with the appetizer. We eat a special bread with Benichon Mustard. It is called “cuchaule”. We drink white wines.
After that we have the starter. We eat cabbage soup.
For the main course, we eat ham, sausage, carrots, beans, bacon and potato. My favorite food in this plate is the pear “à botzi”. We cook the pears in a saucepan with red wine, cinnamon, sugar and anise. It’s very tasty !
For the dessert, we eat meringues with Gruyère double cream. It’s the traditional dessert of Switzerland. If you come to Switzerland, you must try it ! After the meal, when we serve coffee, we often eat traditional homemade biscuits. For example we eat “bricelet”, “pain d’anis.”
After the meal, we all go to the village to continue the party with the other villagers. We can dance, play games, have a drink and listen to traditional music. In the afternoon, there are the parade of cows. It’s a very fun day.
By Chloe Duay (Switzerland) & Clara Tempel (Germany)
Since we have been here, we have done some activities that we don’t have in our countries. We are roommates so we do a lot of things together. We want to speak about some of them.
Condor Express Whales Watching The first activity we did together at Santa Barbara was to see dolphins and whales. We reserved our places with Condor Express Whale Watching company. The activity lasted 4.30 hours. We left the harbor at 9 a.m. and returned at 2.30 p.m. First, we saw seals, then a lot of dolphins and, finally, a big whale. It was the first time that we went on a cruise along the coast. We were amazed and we recommend this activity for the person who wants to see sea animals. Even during the pandemic restrictions, they are able to host a wonderful day out on the water. There was limited capacity on the boat and everyone had to wear the masks so it felt very safe. It was a perfect way to see the Santa Barbara Channel and maybe one day we will go there again.
Horse riding Our second activity was a horse riding tour. We did this activity with Circle Bar B Stables and we chose the option for the half day. We had an appointment in the morning at their ranch where we were each assigned a horse. Then they explained to us how to guide the horse. After that, we started our walk quietly following each other. It was also our first time that we went horse riding, but we wanted to try it one time. Throughout the trail, the view was amazing ! We could see the wonderful landscape. We were even able to try the gallop. It was our favorite activity up to now and we really recommend this one. Awesome experience!
This was our first time surfing in Santa Barbara. We searched on the Internet for a surfing school because we wanted to do that with some friends. We took a Lyft to Mondos beach. A truck was near the beach with all the stuff we needed for surfing. After we put on the wetsuits, we went down to the beach and the teacher explained to us how to stand up. Then we went into the water. First, it was a little bit complicated to stand up, but then we got used to it and the teacher always helped us. It was amazing and fun. We enjoyed our surfing lesson.
This is a photo from the hiking we did with EF. The taxi driver picked us up at the school and drove us to Saddle Rock Trail. There we went up with Megan and her dog. It was exhausting because it was very hot, but the view was amazing as you can see in the picture. We stayed there to enjoy the view and took pictures. Then we went back and the taxi driver picked us up again and took us back to the school. Normally, it’s hard to reach the trails without a car so it was a nice activity.
Football, also called association football or soccer, is a game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies, except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.
Football is the world’s most popular ball game in numbers of participants and spectators. Simple in its principal rules and essential equipment, the sport can be played almost anywhere, from official football playing fields (pitches) to gymnasiums, streets, school playgrounds, parks, or beaches. Football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), estimated that at the turn of the 21st century there were approximately 250 million football players and over 1.3 billion people “interested” in football; in 2010 a combined television audience of more than 26 billion watched football’s premier tournament, the quadrennial month-long World Cup finals.
First of all, I’ll introduce the person who created this song. His name is Jae-hung Park ( Korean:박제형), better known as Jae. He is a Korean-American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, and streamer, best known as a vocalist and electric guitarist of South Korean rock band DAY6. He passed the big audition, then he became a member of DAY6. However, he can’t speak Korean very much, so he had to learn Korean while creating new songs before they debuted. They need to create all of their songs by themselves. He personally streams his own songs on YouTube and SoundCloud while he has been working as a member of DAY6. He calls himself “eaJ” when he does personal works.
This song is one of the most popular songs he has created. I like the main chorus lyrics of this song so much that I’ll introduce it.
“Don’t you know that nothing’s really ever beautiful
We’re all just broken windows
What you see depends from where you set your eye
I could see my blood on the floor or it might just be a Rose“
I was so moved when I listened to the lyrics for the first time. Have you ever looked at any photos or landscape from broken glass? Even if you haven’t done it, you can imagine it. The scenery varies depending on where you look at the broken glass. The same is true of your own life. Look at it from a different perspective. Even if you go through sadness, pain, regret or frustration, you can make it more clear. “Nothing is really ever beautiful.” It’s definitely a sad truth. However, it’s also a lovely thing as you think about it from different perspective. That is what he is saying through this song.
“What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
We can see the sentence at the end of the music video. This is not only a song, but also art. This song is a masterpiece for me.
He creates many phenomenal songs by himself. I love the lyrics he wrote. These are very delicate and beautiful. Please listen to his songs. Thank you for reading!
Getting out of your comfort zone means to do things that you would be normally too scared to do or even to think about doing it.
If you are an EF Student, you are either going to live in a new country or maybe you are already there. You are going to learn a new language, but, at the same time, you hope that your journey will be the greatest experience you will ever have.
And for that, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone if you want to enjoy every experience to its fullest. According to my experiences, the greatest moments I have ever had were the ones I was feeling in my most uncomfortable zone.
Now that you are in a new country, you have the opportunity to become a better version of yourself, and what I mean by that is to start challenging yourself as much as possible so you will keep growing as a person. I know it may be difficult for some people, especially in the beginning of your stay and I have been there, too, but it may also be your only chance to become adventurous, so don’t waste it.
Being afraid is totally normal, actually fear is an essential part of your development, but it’s only when you stop letting it hold you back and start to overcome it that your life will get more exciting.
Here is some 3 etips that I want share with you and I really encourage you do during your stay :
Speak the language
This is the first step to immerse yourself in a new country. Try to speak the language that you are learning as much as possible even outside of school and try to make new friends who don’t speak the same native language as you. You are able to meet people from all around the world and share to them your culture, experiences and vice versa. Take part to every activities that EF or your city can propose to you so can you can meet new people.
Travelling is to explore and experience new place, people and things. Take advantage of everything your destination can offer to you. Don’t try to plan every seconds and allow yourself to get lost, you’ll be very suprised by what you can found out. Think outside the box, don’t go to the same spot as everyone, to get the same instagram picture. Instead? unusual places.
3. Take risks
Don’t be afraid of new challenge and dare yourself to take risks.
First Week here in SB, I tried every activity that EF Activities offered. Also, going to the beach, bonfire, whatever you heard about. My roommate told me about the different things to do.
Suggestions that people could also do: try to talk to as many people as you can. Don’t be afraid to speak to people, even though they don’t speak the same native language. This is important because, if you really want to learn English, then you have to immerse yourself in a new life. I came here to be a better version of myself. Most of my really good friends at EF don’t speak French. I have a couple of French speaking friends. My roommate is from France, but I don’t speak French to him. I only spoke English to him. He also speaks in English. You associate specific people with a specific language. It trained my brain.
Everything happens for a reason I think. You just have to trust people that they will help you.
I was completely out of my comfort zone, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had.
This is great opportunity to do things on your own!